R&D Program. CFRP Aeronautical Components Repairs

    Applus+ has worked together with Airbus on the ALCAS R&D program carrying out structural testing of carbon fiber components


    Through the ALCAS (Advanced Low Cost Aircraft Structures) R&D program, Airbus is developing the technology needed to build an aircraft of the future – lighter and more efficient – that is completely manufactured of composite materials.

    Within the program, Airbus devoted a phase of the project to the study of carbon fiber components repair. This phase consisted of conducting a series of mechanical tests on CFRP (carbon fiber reinforced plastic) parts subjected to various types of damage and repairs.

    To carry out this test program Airbus required a specialized partner, with extensive know-how and experience in managing and performing mechanical testing of large-size CFRP components.

    Applus+ solutions

    Applus+, thanks to the experience it acquired as an officially-validated Airbus laboratory for testing structural mechanics down to the component level and in being a Nadcap-accredited laboratory for the testing of composite materials, became Airbus's partner for conducting the testing.

    The Applus+ team managed and carried out the testing at its mechanical testing laboratory at Bellaterra (Barcelona), one of the few laboratories in Europe specialized in high-load aeronautical trials.

    The workpackage provided by Applus+ consisted of:

    • Management and manipulation of carbon fiber components in accordance with Airbus procedures
    • Design and construction of equipment for entering a load onto CFRP components
    • Design and installation of the data acquisition system (MGC+, ARAMIS, sonic chamber)
    • Final RIG assembly at the testing facility
    • Mechanization of fiber components in accordance with aeronautical procedures
    • Carrying out a test in the 15MN (1500 tonne) universal machine, the only one officially validated in Europe for Airbus
    • Ultrasonic non-destructive inspection of the damages and repairs to the fiber components
    • Post-processing of the acquired data, interpretation of results and preparation of the technical conclusions report

    The project had a duration of 6 months and involved a team of 20 people (project leader, designers, aeronautical engineers, experts in data acquisition, equipment makers and experts in the manipulation of CFRP components).

    Advantages for our customer

    • The close cooperation between Applus+ and Airbus has allowed the latter to successfully complete this critical phase of the ALCAS project, obtaining the results required by the R&D program.
    • The complexity of the project lay in the large size of the parts to be tested (up to 4 meters) under loads of up to 10MN, as well as the fact that these components were manufactured out of CFRP.
    • Through these results, Airbus has increased its knowledge of CFRP aircraft components, allowing it to progress in its development of lighter and more efficient aircraft.
    • For its part, Applus+ has managed to further expand its expertise in managing large aeronautical trials.

    Applus+ uses first-party and third-party cookies for analytical purposes and to show you personalized advertising based on a profile drawn up based on your browsing habits (eg. visited websites). You can accept all cookies by pressing the "Accept" button or configure or reject their use. Consult our Cookies Policy for more information.

    Cookie settings panel